In 1962, in a village so small it’s not even on the map of Italy, a woman arrives by boat in search of quiet and discretion. Pasquale Tursi, owner of the only hotel in Porto Vergogna, is creating a beach in hopes of attracting tourists, and instantly falls for the tall blonde American. Dee is an actress working on Cleopatra, filming in Rome, has been told she has stomach cancer, and is waiting for a man to come and meet her.
Fast forward to Hollywood in the present day. Claire Silver has to deal with her strip club-loving boyfriend, her boss, a Hollywood legend whose surgically altered face doesn’t match his aging body, and pitches for movies and reality TV shows from anyone who has ever met the man. When an old Italian man presents a signed Michael Deane business card, the ticket to gaining an audience with Claire, she thinks he’s just another pitch, but he turns out to be searching for the actress from so long ago.
Beautiful Ruins, now out in paperback, jumps around from the past and the present, following a large cast of characters (including Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor) that come together seamlessly. Interspersed between third person narratives are a pitch from a hopeful screenwriter for a movie about the Donner Party, and the first chapter of Michael Deane’s memoir that was never written, but fills in some of the holes in the story not told elsewhere. The unique storytelling devices add to an already wonderfully written story. Walter throws out bits of information that he comes back to later, leaving the reader to enjoy the journey just as much as the destination. The final chapter closes the book, so to speak on not only the main characters, but all of the minor ones introduced throughout.
Win it! We have 1 copy of Beautiful Ruins to giveaway (US/Canada only). Leave a comment below to enter and the winner will be announced in our regular giveaway column on April 24.The giveaway is closed.
Thanks to the TLC Book Tour for the review copy and giveaway.